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Image by Jack Anstey
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van build

in November 2021 I bought a van to self convert and travel the world in

watch how I turned this empty metal box into a travelling haven

Ford Transit 

The Van

Ford Transit

I went for a 2014 Ford Transit panel van, with a medium wheelbase and high roof. I chose Ford for their reliability and accessible labour & parts. The medium wheelbase will provide me plenty of space to live & work, whilst still fitting comfortably into UK parking spaces. The high roof allows me to stand inside the van when cooking and working, plus the ample headroom is great for upper storage. The Ford also has straighter walls which makes a great shape for building and the wider van allows me to sleep width ways.


The Design

Colour Story


For the tone of the van I shall be going for a neutral earthy palette

Brightening up the space with light sand coloured walls & counter top

Then a complementary ash toned wood for the lower cabinets and flooring

Adding rich earthy shades with a copper sink & lots of leafy greens

Pulling in darker tones with a matt black faucet & exposed metal features

Also using lots of natural textures & fibres like linen, wood & ceramics

Colour Story 1
Van Design Moodboard


maxxair fan.png

Its super important to have air flow in your vehicle, this will not only help to cool the space by pushing air around, but also extract moisture from cooking and showering.


Having a window you can open will allow your fan to draw fresh air from the outside and circulate a cool breeze throughout the van, preferably with a fly net to prevent bugs getting in.

bunk windows.png
maxxair rooflight.png

A roof-light is another way to allow air to flow into your van, left on the catch it will allow a constant flow of fresh air from the outside, removing excess moisture that builds up & could cause mould.

The Floor

Building A Cork Insulated Subfloor

Since I'll be using the van in all four seasons, I wanted to build a full insulated subfloor to make sure my van stays nice and cool/toasty during those trips. So I decided to go with cork granule insulation, for this I needed to build a frame to house the insulation so here's how I did it.

The Build Stages

  1. Paint Floor To Prevent Rust

  2. Adhere 9mm Ply Levellers

  3. Fit Water & Shower Drains

  4. Drill Diesel Exhaust Hole

  5. Make Tyre Release Hatch

  6. Build 2x1 Wooden Frame

  7. Sound Deaden The Floor

  8. Fill With Cork Insulation

  9. Adhere Walkway Wood Tops

  10. Lay 12mm Varnish Plywood

  11. Fix Diesel Heater In Place

  12. Seal With Flexible Sealant

  13. Lay Tough Garage Floor

  14. Fit Underfloor Heating Film

  15. Lay Nice Walkway Flooring




Floor Insulation

Cork is the bark of the Quercus Suber tree, a natural material free from chemicals & toxins, which is water and fire resistant. With a high R-Value of 4.2, making it a great insulator. It also has acoustic dulling properties and is lightweight. Plus the granules are a by-product from the cork board industry which helps to reduce waste.



Wall Insulation

Sheepswool has great thermal & acoustic insulating properties, with a high R-Value of 4.3. It's 100% natural, fire resistant and free from chemicals & toxins. It's a hygroscopic material, so absorbs moisture and releases it when heated, which doesn't effect its insulating properties, so perfect for combating condensation on the van walls. Plus it's mould resistant.

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